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I’m back and ready to kick-off a new promotion of my novel, “Red Nails”. Click on the following link to read an in-depth “look” inside “Red Nails” and its characters.
It was all Hallow’s Eve in the month of October of 1865 and Alexandra Drachen huddled beneath the long branches of the evergreen that reached far above as if it touched the sky. A wolf’s lone howl in the distance made her shiver in cold eventhough she was covered from head to toe in a damask cloak. Beneath it was hidden the ivory ball gown so elegantly embellished with beads and pearls meant to shimmer beneath the candlelight of the home she had escaped out of bloody fear for her life. She was only seventeen and too young to be betrothed and married to a man she had never met. For fear he might be a werewolf in disguise, she had run across the span of green surrounding the manse into the darkness of the woods. The rays of moonlight rained down through the branches and her cape of ruby red shone in the black of night, the pattern of the fabric a beacon to any that may be lurking in wait for a young woman all alone.
She pulled the hood of her cloak over her head as far as it would reach. Her eyes searched the forest for signs of life as she wondered why there was no one to rescue her as in all of the novels she had read hidden beneath the coverlet of her bed late at night. With only candles shining through to light her journey into other worlds, she would read until dawn and then fall into restless sleep. In the stories, there was always a dashing rogue who ravished the heroine and made her his bride in the end.
As she sat beneath the tree, Alexandra heard the fall leaves rustle in the wind and watched the fog creep toward her against the earth. Perhaps, it was the spirits that passed between the fine line of life and death on this night that surrounded her in the mists. Ghosts took shape as the wind blew the thick fog into swirls of mist surrounding her as the bark of the tree bit hard against her back. Alexandra gathered her cloak tight and tucked her satin shod feet beneath her. What had she done? Should she have stayed and faced her reality? She was shaken from her thoughts from pounding hooves in the distance, thundering toward her. Could this be the man she had run from? Or, would it be a kind soul who would help her escape the prison of her fate?
She struggled to free herself from her twisted cape and got to her feet waiting for the stranger to appear. Near his path, she stood. As the horse and rider came closer, she could see that he wore a look of determination on his beautiful face. A face of a pirate with the eyes of an angel. The horse did not stop, the face did not turn. It was as if she wasn’t there.
Hell bent on finding a way out, Alexandra ran back across the lawns, past the stone facade and to her home. Silence. She heard nothing. No music. No voices. Only the slightest of whispers. A body. Very still. It did not move. People bent upon the ground below her window looking at the figure in the blood red cloak with the ivory of her gown beneath. Alexandra’s mind flashed with memory and shock waved over her with reality flooding through her. There she was lying still with no breath. But, how could it be? She was standing so near. She screamed but all was silent. As the stranger dismounted from his horse, he walked slowly toward the mourning crowd. For it was his betrothed lying there. He was too late. He leaned down, held her hand and bent his head.
Alexandra felt as if she would die. But, already, death had taken her. She was but a ghost. Memories flooded back. She had slipped from the vines off the balcony as she had tried to escape and fallen to her death. The place she had thought of as a prison had not been that at all. Now, she was trapped in the prison of death with no life’s breath to breathe. Fear had taken her life.
The muted ghostly shapes that had surrounded her in the forest now became clear as they surrounded her. She screamed at them hoping they would leave and all this would have been a strange nightmare, but they stood waiting for her. One beckoned to her to move forward and she felt a pull so strong she could not resist but within her the soul that still lived knew she could escape once again. Back to life. She would find a way back no matter the cost, no matter the time.
Alexandra looked back at the man that seemed to come from within one of her novels. He had been meant for her. At that moment, she looked toward the night sky filled with black darkness and saw only the light shining from the moon and vowed she would come back. In the end, she would become her own heroine. One that would rescue herself from the fate of death and return to the life she was meant to have. A ghostly hand reached out and held Alexandra’s arm and she was gone. But, not forever.
Following is a link to a recently published review from Reader’s Favorite.
Recently, I wrote a guest post for Sandra Elizabeth Steiner’s blog about “Red Nails”…..please check it out via the link below.
Coming in July is the first book in a trilogy entitled, “Cherish the Past”, by Sandra Steiner. Following is a guest post about her books, including an excerpt and a glimpse into her life.
“Angie sighed. A small smile began to form as she recalled the moments that led up to this incredible feeling. Life was good. No, life was amazing. It hadn’t always been, but today at forty-six, it sure was. She had reached a good space in her life. She was content, in love, at peace with her past, and excited about her future. Tomorrow she was marrying her soul mate. She had nearly given up hoping she would find him. He had actually prayed that she would find him before his birthday. Or so he said, and she had no reason not to believe him.
As she sat on the beach with Candy watching the waves roll in, the memories of a lifetime came crashing in reminding her to cherish the past.”
Twenty-nine years earlier……
“Angie woke with a smile on her lips, for the last time, in the room of her childhood. The sun was streaming in the window, and the curtains were billowing in the wind. Stretching and slowly opening her eyes, the first thing she saw was her beautiful gown of white. The exquisite lace veil was hanging beside it, and her white sandals were set out with them. Excitement surged through her. Today was their day. The first day of the rest of their lives. Just like most little girls, she had dreamed and planned her wedding day for years. She had been waiting her entire life for this moment. The wedding plans were made long ago; her dreams and desires of love would now become a reality.
Angie was not quite eighteen. In fact her high school graduation had been just the weekend before. At this moment though, she would rather not think about that night. Alex had disappeared from the grad party, and she had to get her mother to pick her up. She thought he had seemed overly upset the next day when she confronted him about leaving her there. It wasn’t like him to holler at her. Well, sometimes her imagination got the best of her.”
The trilogy I have written portrays three incredibly strong women who are faced with difficult circumstances in their lives and the journey they went through to overcome them. Spring Island is a fictional place in which they all find comfort and hope in one way or another. My purpose for writing these books was to offer hope for those who need it….inspiration to carry on in life. If they inspire only one person, I will have been successful.
Book One – Cherish the Past – July 2014
Book Two – Live for Today – August 2014
Book Three – Dream for Tomorrow
A bit about me….. I completed a Bachelor of Education degree after high school and have been working for the last twenty years in the accounting field. Becoming a published author has always been a dream. I am a proud mother and grandmother and live with my husband on Vancouver Island in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia Canada.
Since the death of my teenage daughter in 2004, I have inspired many to think positively and to live life for the moment. Over the years, I have had the opportunity and privilege to motivate many individuals to believe in themselves, and they have encouraged me to write and share my experiences. I am a strong woman who believes anything is possible if you believe in yourself.